The Board of Regents met from Tuesday, May 14 to Thursday, May 16, and decided on many actions that affect students. Rather than only covering the one or two actions that impact students the most, we’ve decided to summarize all of the notable actions so students can be aware of what their Regents are doing.
A Presentation on Transgender and Nonbinary Students
At each Board of Regents meeting, the Academic and Student Affairs committee has a presentation on the student experience. This meeting, at the recommendation of Student Regent-designate Hayley Weddle, the board had a presentation about transgender and nonbinary students.
UC San Diego Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center Director Shaun Travers presented definitions of terms pertaining to gender and gender identity. Travers went on to discuss the resources available for trans and nonbinary students, and the recent changes to data systems that allow students to change their name and personal pronouns on course rosters and other systems.
UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center Community Coordinator and undergraduate student Joel Gutierrez presented on their experience as a nonbinary student.
“We need to ensure that all faculty across the department have the tools and especially expectation to consider the impact of their actions on trans and nonbinary scholars. One or two slides about training and inclusivity is simply not enough,” Gutierrez said in their presentation. “Gender neutral language is not difficult to teach or learn, especially considering the impact it has on all nonbinary people. Just as we try to hold campus leaders accountableto not expressing racist or misogynistic sentiments, we can work to prevent harmful actions against trans and nonbinary scholars.”
UCLA Gender Studies doctoral candidate and transgender student Shawndeez Jadalizadeh discussed the way coming out impacted their experiences as a person and as a student. Jadalizadeh outlined transphobic treatment by people in their lives, including professors, doctors, and former friends, and the physical violence they have faced because of their identity.
“I’ve had professors look me in the eye and ask me invasive questions about my genitals. I’ve had professors introduce me as the [teaching assistant] to a lecture hall full of students with incorrect pronouns and, therefore, out me,” Jadalizadeh said during their presentation. “I regularly get pulled aside and get interrogated at the gym, the library or any other place I need to use my ID card. They use my legal, or dead name, on my ID card makes everyday transactions on campus uncomfortable and I and other students avoid using campus resources because of these daily hassles of the ID card.”
During the question-and-answer session after the presentation, many Regents recognized that they have a long way to go to improve the university experience for transgender and nonbinary students. While the two students were encouraged to speak about policy recommendations, they both emphasized that policy change won’t fix the social environment.
Board of Regents Academic and Student Services Committee Chair John Perez asked for an action item to create a policy regarding data systems and student IDs to prevent deadnaming.
Nonresident Tuition Raise
The UC Board of Regents approved a 2.6% ($762) increase to nonresident tuition for the 2019–20 school year. The vote passed with 12 Regents voting yes, six voting no, and one abstaining.
The Regents voted to table the proposal in March and the UC Office of the President reintroduced it with changes to put 10% of the tuition raise towards financial aid.
The UC Student Association, Student Regent Devon Graves, and Student Regent-designate Hayley Weddle all objected to the increase. Graves, the only student with a vote, voted against the proposal.
“I strongly believe increasing nonresident tuition erodes the affordability of the UC [system], and limits the socioeconomic diversity of our student body,” Weddle told The Triton after the board meeting. Read more here.
The UC Board of Regents approved a proposal for the creation of Seventh College during the Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting on May 15. Seventh College will replace The Village, the current housing area for transfer students, and begin enrollment for Fall Quarter 2020.
The Seventh College curriculum program is called “A Changing World,” which UCSD Dean of Undergraduate Education John Moore said will allow for interdisciplinary study. Moore said the curriculum is designed in a way to make students engage with their general education (GE) all four years, rather than finishing their GE requirements in one or two years.
Turning The Village into Seventh College will require several housing adjustments. Transfer students will be relocated to the new Pepper Canyon East and West housing and Rita Atkinson Hall. Medical students, currently housed in Rita Atkinson Hall, will move across the 5 freeway to Nuevo East and West housing, which is set to open for Fall Quarter 2020 with around 3,000 beds. Read more here.
An audit of sexual misconduct policy in 2018 found that discipline is inconsistently applied and discipline applied to Academic Senate faculty takes much longer than for other staff and students.
The state auditor made several recommendations, including a clarification of the timeline for the adjudication of academic sexual misconduct investigations, to the Regents.
The Board of Regents approved changes to the policy governing this discipline that now requires the university’s chancellor to be informed of any disciplinary decision within 30 days and the disciplinary hearing to take place within 60 days of the chancellor filing charges with the committee.
- Vice Chair John Perez was elected for a two-year term as the next Chair of the Board of Regents, starting in July.
- Regent Cecilia Estolano was elected next Vice Chair of the Board of Regents, starting in July.
- UC Riverside Provost Cynthia Larive was selected as the next Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz.
- UC Office of the President Chief Financial Officer was selected as the interim Chancellor of UC Merced. Chancellor Dorothy Leland announced her decision to resign, effective August 15, on May 13, sparking the creation of a last minute special committee to select an interim chancellor.
Ethan Edward Coston is the Managing Editor of The Triton. You can follow him @Ethan4Books.